The Complete Guide to Pinch Pleat Curtains and Drapery Panels

Pinch pleat curtains and draperies are commonly used in traditional and formal decor. This style is called pinch pleated because the fabric is folded and stitched into pleats at the top of each panel to add fullness. The most commonly used pinch pleats styles have two or three pleats. Drapery pins or hooks are used to attach the panels to drapery hardware, so the fabric lays flat in between the fold and the fullness is distributed evenly along the length of the panel. Often weights are added to the bottom hem of the drapery panel allowing the fabric to fall evenly.

Pinch Pleat Curtain and Drape Styles

pinch pleat

There are many styles of pinch pleat draperies. The style you select is based on your decor preferences, the window size and type, and the amount of privacy or light you require in the room.

Double Pinch Pleat 

Double pinch pleated drapery, also called two-finger pleated panels, is a more contemporary style featuring double folds across the top of the drapery panel. Two folds are sewn directly into the fabric creating V-shaped folds. This creates a soft fullness along the width of the panels.

Triple Pinch Pleat

Triple pinch pleat drapery panels feature three folds at specific intervals along the drapery panel. These folds are sewn directly into the top edge of the curtain and tacked along the bottom of each pleat creating a decorative fan shape.

Parisian Pleat

A Parisian pleat also referred to as a Euro pleat is a pinch pleat curtain style featuring a more modern, unstructured look. This pinch pleat curtain is carefully folded and stitched at the top edge allowing the drapes to flow elegantly from an inverted pleat.

Goblet Pleat

Instead of pinching or folding pleats, this look is created by creating one large roll at intervals along the top of the curtain. The “goblet” shape is maintained with a filler roll of interlining or other cylindrical supports. Goblet pleats are not recommended when the drapery panels will be opened and closed regularly.

Inverted Box Pleat

The inverted box pleat is a more tailored style. Instead of the pinch pleating showing from the front, the pleat protrudes to the back side of the panel. The front features a flat surface suitable for a more modern, contemporary decor. Inverted Box pleats are also not generally recommended for functional drapery.

Pinch Pleated Draperies Fabric Options

The fabric you select for your pinch pleated curtains for draperies should coordinate with the overall look of the room. Using the color, scale, and patterns of existing pieces, choose a fabric that will reflect and enhance those features. If you want your windows to be the focal point of the room, select a stand-out pattern or color that will contrast with the furniture or walls.

Another factor to consider is the functionality of the drapery panels. If they are simply for visual appeal, you may select a lighter-weight fabric or layer a pinch pleat topper over sheers. Functional drapery intended to regulate light and privacy could use a heavier fabric. Some fabrics options for pinch pleat draperies are:

  • chenille
  • cotton
  • damask
  • denim
  • embroideries
  • linen
  • silk
  • satin
  • suede
  • Toile
  • velvet

Pinch Pleat Drapery Hardware

No matter which style you choose, the pinch pleat drapery hardware you select matters. Two of the most popular options are traverse systems and curtain rods with rings. Both types use drapery pins or hooks to attach the pleated drapery to the rods.

Traverse System

Traverse rods or track systems allow the drapery to be opened and closed easily using a cord and pulley system. The pinch pleats use drapery pins to attach to carriers that move along the bottom of the rod. The top of the curtains slides effortlessly just below the bottom of the rod.

Curtain Rods for Pinch Pleated Curtains

A curtain rod or curtain pole with rings is more decorative pinch pleat drapery hardware. Unlike the track system, pinch pleated draperies hang by rings on decorative curtain rods. Pins or hooks are again used to attach the panels to eyelets at the bottom of each ring. The draperies are opened and closed by manually sliding the rings along the pole by hand or with the use of a baton.

Measuring Windows for Pinch Pleat Drapery 

Getting the correct measurements for your pinch pleated curtains and draperies is very important. Pinch pleat draperies are an investment. Consider whether they will be opened and closed frequently or serve as decorative side panels. Also, think about the finished length. Consider the length of your pinch pleat draperies. Will they flow directly down to touch the floor, just to the bottom of the window or will the fabric puddle on the floor? Whatever look you desire, proper measurements are key.

Where to Find the Best Quality Pinch Pleat Drapery Panels

The professionals at Drapery Rod Direct have helped thousands of valued customers choose the right window treatments for their homes for more than 20 years. We are here to help you find the perfect look for your space. Contact our friendly team today at 1-800-251-5009.

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